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Laurence M. Ball, Mr. Nicolas de Roux Uribe, and Mr. Marc Hofstetter
JEL Cl This study constructs a new data set on unemployment rates in Latin America and the Caribbean and then explores the determinants of unemployment. We compare different countries, finding that unemployment is influenced by the size of the rural population and that the effects of government regulations are generally weak. We also examine large, persistent increases in unemployment over time, finding that they are caused by contractions in aggregate demand. These demand contractions result from either disinflationary monetary policy or the defense of an exchange - rate peg in the face of capital flight. Our evidence supports hysteresis theories in which short - run changes in unemployment influence the natural rate.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

(%, headline, period avg.) 0.4 3.2 7.7 4.8 3.2 2.2   Inflation (%, core, period avg.) 0.8 2.3 4.0 3.9 3.3 2.5 General Government Finances   Fiscal balance (% of GDP) -4.3 -3.7 -3.2 -1.8 -1.3 -0.9     Revenue (% of GDP) 46.5 47.9 47.1 46.9 47.0 47.1     Expenditure (% of GDP) 50.8 51.6 50.2 48.7 48.3 48.0   Public debt (% of GDP) 68.7 70.2 70.9 68.9 65.8 63.2 Money and Credit   Broad money (M3) (end of year, % change) 1/ 8.2 5

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

.2 1.2 2.7 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.5 2.5 HICP core, period average (annual percentage change) 0.7 1.9 1.7 1.9 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.4 2.4 HICP, period average (annual percentage change) 0.2 −0.7 0.7 3.4 2.0 2.2 2.5 2.5 2.5 General government finances 2/ Revenue (percent of GDP) 34.0 34.8 34.5 35.3 36.8 36.4 36.4 36.2 36.1 Of which EU grants 2.7 1.9 0.8 1.3 2.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.9 Expenditure (percent of GDP) 34.6 35.0 34

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

.7 3.7 3.9 Labor productivity (annual percentage change) 2.0 1.9 0.9 2.6 3.2 3.4 3.7 3.7 3.9 Prices HICP, end of period (year-on-year percentage change) 2.9 0.5 −0.1 0.5 2.0 2.3 2.4 2.3 2.2 GDP deflator (year-on-year percentage change) 2.7 1.6 0.9 0.9 2.5 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.5 HICP core, period average (annual percentage change) 2.0 1.4 0.7 1.3 1.7 2.4 3.0 3.0 3.0 HICP, period average (annual percentage change) 3.2 1.2 0.2 −0

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

.2 2.2 HICP core, period average (annual percentage change) 1.9 2.1 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 HICP, period average (annual percentage change) 2.5 2.3 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.2 General government finances 2/ Revenue (percent of GDP) 34.7 35.7 35.8 35.8 35.8 35.7 35.7 Of which EU grants 0.8 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.0 Expenditure (percent of GDP) 34.0 35.4 35.5 35.7 35.7 35.6 35.6 Of which : Non-interest 33.1 34.5 34.8 35.2 35

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

.4 1.6 3.1 1.3 2.3 3.1 Period average 5.7 4.7 3.1 1.9 2.3 3.1 Consumer prices (core) Period average 2.0 1.8 2.2 2.2 2.1 2.1 Unemployment rate 2/ 3.3 3.4 4.0 4.9 … … Real effective exchange rate (2010=100) 117.1 129.7 128.3 125.3 … … (In percent of fiscal year GDP) Nonfinancial public sector (NFPS) 3/ Central government overall balance -4.7 -8.1 -12.0 -11.0 -6.0 -4.6 Of which : non-energy balance 4

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

labor force) 8.5 6.7 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.8 5.7 Average monthly gross earnings (annual percentage change) 2/ 10.1 7.4 6.9 6.2 5.7 5.5 5.2 Average monthly gross earnings, real (CPI-deflated, annual percentage change) 9.0 4.0 4.1 3.5 3.2 3.2 3.0 Labor productivity (annual percentage change) 0.6 2.7 3.8 3.1 3.0 2.8 2.6 Prices HICP, period average (annual percentage change) 1.1 3.2 2.8 2.7 2.5 2.3 2.2 HICP core, period average (annual percentage

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

.2 4.9 4.4 Average monthly gross earnings, real (CPI-deflated, annual percentage change) 4.3 5.8 7.2 4.3 4.3 3.9 3.3 2.7 2.4 2.0 Labor productivity (annual percentage change) 1.5 0.8 0.4 4.4 3.7 3.4 3.0 2.6 2.3 2.0 Prices HICP, end of period (year-on-year percentage change) −0.1 −0.2 2.0 3.8 2.2 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.5 GDP deflator (year-on-year percentage change) 1.0 0.3 1.0 4.2 2.2 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 HICP core, period

Laurence M. Ball, Mr. Nicolas de Roux Uribe, and Mr. Marc Hofstetter

of the total change. In the rest of the episode, U* changed in the same direction, but not by much. In seeking explanations for the change in U*, we focus on what happened around the “coreperiod of rapid change. Specifically, we define the core as the period when U* changed by at least 0.5 percentage points each year. In Figure 2 , the core of each episode is shaded in dark gray. Chile, for example, experienced an episode of rising U* that lasted 18 years, from 1965 to 1983. U* rose a total of 10.1 percentage points (from 5.7 percent to 15.8 percent). The core

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

.8   Inflation (%, core, period avg.) 0.8 2.3 4.0 3.9 General Government Finances   Fiscal balance (% of GDP) -4.3 -3.7 -3.2 -1.8     Revenue (% of GDP) 46.5 47.9 47.1 46.9     Expenditure (% of GDP) 50.8 51.6 50.2 48.7   Public debt (% of GDP) 68.7 70.2 70.9 68.9 Money and Credit   Broad money (M3) (end of year, % change) 1/ 8.2 5.6   Credit to private sector (% change) 4.9 5.4 10-year government bond yield (%) -0.5 -0.3 Balance of